American Rivers: Upper Colorado is sixth most endangered river in U.S.

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From The Grand Junction Daily Sentinel (Gary Harmon):

The projects, the Windy Gap Firming Project and the Moffat Tunnel Collection System Project, would increase diversions from the upper Colorado River by at least 48,000 acre-feet a year. The threat to the river’s fishery, boating and water supply to downstream users placed the Upper Colorado River at No. 6 in the 2010 list of the nation’s most-endangered rivers by American Rivers…

“Conversely,” American Rivers said, “if the projects incorporate appropriate river protections, they could herald an era of water-supply planning that better balances water development with the needs of the river.”[…]

The Windy Gap project was supposed to go online a year ago, but it was sent back by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for a revised draft environmental-impact statement, said Chris Treese of the Colorado River Water Conservation District. The project calls for the construction of Chimney Hollow Reservoir in Larimer County to be supplied by an annual average of 30,000 acre-feet of water diverted through the existing Windy Gap project. It would supply water to more than a dozen municipalities in northern Colorado.

The Moffat project is designed to divert an annual average of 18,000 acre-feet of water collected on the Fraser River Basin through the Moffat Tunnel to an enlarged Gross Reservoir on the Front Range.

More Colorado River Basin coverage here.

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